The European Union Statistics of Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC) 2005 wave includes a special module on inter-generational transmission of poverty. In addition to the standard data relating to income and material deprivation, information relating to parental background and childhood circumstances was collected for all household members aged over 24 and less than 66 at the end of the income reference period. In principle, the module provides an unprecedented opportunity to apply a welfare regime perspective to a comparative European analysis of the relationship between poverty and social exclusion and parental characteristics and childhood economic circumstances. In this paper, we seek to exploit such potential. In pursuing this objective, it is necessary to take into account some of the limitations of the data. We do by restricting our attention to a set of countries where data issues seem less extreme. Finally, we compare findings from one dimensional and multidimensional approaches to poverty and social exclusion in order to provide an assessment of the extent to which our analysis of welfare regime variation provides a coherent account of the intergenerational transmission of disadvantage.